Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

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Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby Rowlau » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:14 am

Hi there, I'm looking for some advice on my new rescue Bearded Dragon - Charlie.

I look after reptiles at work and fell in love with them so decided to get a Bearded Dragon as my very own pet. I looked to Rescues as I knew there would be many looking for forever homes. I took in a 3 year old Beardie. Unfortunately the previous owners did not know how to take care of him. They never provided a UVB bulb, had the wrong substrate, fed him very very little and never cleaned out his viv. He's extremely thin and limps around, kind of half dragging his body along. I assume he has MBD from the lack of dietary needs.

I have him about a week and since day one he gets really really mad if I open his viv and even think about putting a hand in there. I've already been bitten more times than I can count just from changing his food or water. Everyday, I've been handling him to get him used to me but I fear he may be in pain which would explain his anger/fear of me. I have scheduled a vet visit but until then, I'm wondering if I should stop handling him? Also, any other advice is very much appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:18 am

Please post pics of your tank and lighting-- we can see whats going on and help you from there-- hes probably got some relocation stress going on but we need to see what else is happening
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:13 am

I'm glad you are able to give him a good home. If he isn't used to adequate living conditions at 3 years old, it may take time to get him adjusted, so please be patient. If he doesn't seem to like handling now, I'd keep that to a minimum to reduce his stress. If he is very skinny and not getting around well, I would first focus on keeping him hydrated. Has he been drinking from his water bowl or will he drink drops of water if you drip them on his nose to lick up? Go easy on protein/bugs for now, especially given his age. If you make a salad for him, will he eat on his own? If not, you may need to try syringe feeding him a bit for now. Go easy on food since you don't want to overwhelm his system all at once. Some squash, green bean, or sweet potato baby food dripped onto his nose might work. If he is eating on his own already, I suggest focusing on getting him eating salads. Dark leafy greens like collards and turnip greens are healthy and a good source of calcium. Chopped up green beans and squash is also usually a hit with them. The more variety you can offer, the better. You can still offer some bugs but do keep it to a minimum at first. Even when healthy, his diet should be mostly veges. They are tough little ones and can bounce back from a lot. If you give him good lighting and heat as well as a good diet and caring patience I think he has a good chance to thrive with you =)
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby Rowlau » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:56 am

Thank you so much for the replies!

Charlie is not drinking water or eating by himself. I have bathed him the other day and I drip water on his nose which is the only thing that seems to work. I spray him with water every morning before I go to work and again when I get home. But he absolutely won't drink from his dish. Food - I have been preparing salads for him. Dandelion greens, mustard greens, and some mixed veggies. He will come check it out when I place it in but won't eat it. If I then try hand feed him by holding some greens near him, he puffs up. The baby food tip might actually work! Thank you for that! If not, I will definitely syringe feed. Thank you for your advice! 😊 I really really appreciate it!
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby KarrieRee » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:20 am

Lighting in the tank has everything to do w/ their overall behavior--- please post pics of your tank and lighting --- something is going on w/ him not to want to eat on his own
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby Aaradimian » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:59 am

You might want to wear a work glove when putting your hand in the viv for now. It may take a bit to earn his trust given how poorly he was treated by others, but I think simple reinforcement that biting the hand that feeds him produces no results (since you won't be getting hurt) might make him not do it. If possible, it might also be worth switching to a front-opening viv if yours currently opens at the top. That way you aren't coming at him "from the sky" like a predator would.

Also, it's probably not necessary to mist him unless he's shedding. Mist his greens instead, and continue to offer water via a dropper. My dragons will drink from a dish, but it took quite a while before they thought to do it.
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Re: Rescue is very scared and maybe in pain?

Postby AHBD » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:42 pm

How is Charlie doing ?
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